At Niles Family Dentistry, we specialize in providing you the most natural dental care possible. We know how important a full set of teeth is for great oral health, and we do all that we can to keep your natural teeth intact and functioning properly. However, some situations require us to perform root canal treatment, also known as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy. We work to detect small changes in your tooth health so that cavities can be found and fixed before they progress to severe tooth decay. In situations where deep restorations or trauma to a tooth cause nerve damage, or when a cavity has infected the tooth pulp, we may have to perform a root canal. We perform root canals to clean out infected tooth pulp of the tooth that may be causing you swelling, pain (especially when chewing), a bad taste in the mouth or hot/cold sensitivity. We do all that we can to avoid a root canal, but in some situations it really is the best option for your oral health. As always, it’s best to come in to see us often to prevent the progression of tooth decay before that even happens. We do many root canal treatments for our patients, so don’t ever hesitate to come in to see us if you are experiencing tooth pain or irregular oral symptoms. Learn more about our root canal treatments at Niles Family Dentistry and how we can help preserve your teeth.
Root Canals by the Numbers
According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 15 million root canals are performed each year. That’s 41,000 root canals a day, so it’s quite a common treatment. Endodontists frequently perform root canals as well as tooth extractions, but many dentists are also trained in endodontics and can perform the same treatments. An endodontist is someone that specializes in treating the inside of your tooth. Dr. Niles made sure that she received the proper training and experience so that she could do root canals for her patients instead of sending them to someone else. The AAE estimates that around 90% of patients are highly satisfied with their root canal treatments. Learn how we can help you succeed with treatment.
Why We Perform Root Canals
A root canal is our go-to option before a tooth extraction is needed. We strive to keep your teeth healthy as much as we can, but ultimately, you are the one that governs how healthy your teeth will be. As soon as we see a cavity beginning to form, we combat it, drill out the part of the tooth that is decaying and then fill the cavity with a sealant. This sealant does exactly what the name would entail—it “seals” that area of the tooth so that tooth decay can’t have it’s heyday and spread and so that an infection doesn’t occur that would damage the integrity of your tooth. When infection has reached the pulp of your tooth, you experience pain and symptoms such as red and swollen gums in the area of the infection, inflammation, sensitivity to hot and cold and especially pain when it comes to biting down or chewing food. Sometimes the pain can progress enough that it is a constant and serious ache in your mouth. A simple cavity fix won’t cut it when it comes to this kind of tooth decay progression and pain. We must perform a root canal as our last-ditch effort to preserve your natural tooth. Studies have shown that root canals can actually last up to a lifetime if you care for your teeth and gums. Without proper care, the infection inside your tooth will eat away at surrounding bone (known as an abscess) that can cause immense pain, tooth loss and infections that can seep into the bloodstream (which could cause sickness or worse). We perform root canal treatment to keep as much of your natural tooth as possible.
How We Perform Root Canals
When an infection is present in a tooth and causing problems, the infection must be dealt with first. The teeth are amazing in that there can be an infection present, yet when that infection is cleaned out, the rest of the tooth can thrive and be healthy for many years to come. When we perform a root canal, we open up the tooth where the infection is present. This is generally in the center part of the tooth consisting of the tooth pulp (soft part under the hard tooth enamel layer). This pulp is made up of many nerves and is where the tooth is nourished continually. These nerves go all the way through the tooth or through the “roots”. When we say “root canal” we literally mean that we are cleaning out the canals of the tooth roots where infections lie and wreak havoc.
We thoroughly clean out all of the infection present in the tooth and do several passes through with our cleaning materials to ensure that no infection is left inside the tooth that can continue causing decay. Once the tooth roots are thoroughly free of infection, we then fill the canals of your tooth to keep them clean, structurally sound and free of infection. We also provide you a crown to help protect that tooth even more from future damage, especially as it heals over time. A crown will make it stronger and more protected against daily wear and tear.
Frequent Office Visits Are Key
The need for a root canal may be apparent because of the symptoms you experience, but you may not even know you need a root canal until you come into the office and we review your x-rays. It’s always important to come see us often so we can combat cavities when they are small so there is never a need for a root canal. When a root canal is needed, you can trust that we will provide you will the best and most natural care possible. For all of your dental treatment needs and for questions regarding root canals, feel free to call our Niles Family Dentistry office at (303) 652-0040.